The Gluster Blog

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Simplify and Unify Storage Deployments


(This is a guest post from Red Hat engineering manager, Vidya Sakar, originally at The Fifth Elephant blog)

In this digital universe where data is growing at a fast pace, the infrastructure to store, manage and retrieve data is of paramount importance. Just about everyone in this universe is generating data at a pace never observed before – ranging from a simple purchase in a nearby retail store to storing a high-definition video in the cloud. Data has grown tenfold in five years and the growth curve is only getting steeper. The amount of data today if stacked in DVDs will reach halfway to Mars.

Of this growth, the unstructured data is growing atleast five times faster than the structured data which are stored in relational databases. Today, much of this data is simply accumulated and not analyzed to drive business optimization or new business opportunities. A study by McKinsey Global Institute projects 60% potential increase in retailers’ operating margins possible with big data. So there is a need to effeciently store data and effectively analyze it to help take better business decisions. That said, 5% growth in IT spending has not kept pace with the 40% growth of data. Having different storage silos for different storage needs is not just inefficient, it is a nightmare to manage. This situation calls for a radically new approach to how storage deployments are managed in an enterprise.

Red Hat Storage can be the answer to simplifying and unifying storage deployments in a modern enterprise. GlusterFS, a key building block of Red Hat Storage Server, is an open source, POSIX-compatible distributed file system capable of scaling to several petabytes (actually, 72 brontobytes!) and handling thousands of clients. GlusterFS is based on a stackable user space design and can deliver exceptional performance for diverse workloads. Red Hat Storage solution clusters together storage building blocks from multiple commodity systems over Infiniband RDMA or TCP/IP interconnect, aggregating disk and memory resources and managing data in a single global namespace.

With the prevalence of cloud, object based storage solutions are gaining more foothold in enterprise IT. Red Hat Storage unifies the simplicity of NAS storage with the power of object storage technology. It provides a system for data storage that enables users to access the same data, both as an object and as a file, thus simplifying management and controlling storage costs, enabling enterprises to adopt and deploy cloud storage solutions. Enterprises can use this technology to accelerate the process of preparing file-based applications for the cloud and simplify new application development for cloud computing environments.

Red Hat Storage Server also provides compatibility for Apache Hadoop and it uses the standard file system APIs available in Hadoop to provide a new storage option for Hadoop deployments. As an open source, distributed storage solution designed to work on huge numbers of heterogeneous, commodity devices — Gluster is a perfect complement to the Hadoop ecosystem. Existing MapReduce based applications can use GlusterFS seamlessly without any need for rewrites. This functionality not only opens up data within Hadoop deployments to any file-based or object-based application, but also eliminates the centralized namenode from big data deployments driving efficiency and high availability.

By unifying the storage environments into a single scale-out pool, Red Hat Storage delivers unmatched value to enterprises. In comparison to traditional storage solutions which need to be maintained in different silos for different needs, Red Hat Storage is a new approach to solving the storage problems entirely in software. Whether deployed on-premise, or in a private, public, or hybrid cloud environment, Red Hat Storage makes it easier to access information, brings freedom of choice, and brings the power of community-driven innovation to your enterprise.


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